The Deoni is a very popular dual purpose
breed of cattle of Marathwada region of Maharashtra
state and adjoining parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh
states. Its breeding tract lies in the Balaghat range
of Sahyadri hills. The actual place of origin is Deoni,
Udgir and Ahmedpur taluks of Latur district. It is also
found in Parbhani, Nanded and Osmanabad districts of
Maharashtra and Bidar district of Karnataka.
Deoni cattle is believed to have been developed from
Gir cattle about 280-300 years back. The tribes Rabaris,
Bharwads, Charans, Maldars, Ahirs etc. used to move
with their cattle from Gujarat in search of fodder during
scarcity period towards the southern parts of country.
During these perods, Gir herds also come to Gujarat
state of Marathwada region. The migration of Girs to
Marathwada led to the increasing admixture of Gir blood
with local herds, contribution to the development of
Deoni cattle. This breed has derived from the habitat
i.e. Deoni taluk of Latur district. The estimated population
of Deoni breed in 1998 was 119,000.Breedable females,
breeding bulls and bullocks constituted 33.6, 1.5 and
41.1 % respectively.
Breeding tract of Deoni cattle covers an area of about
11,240 km. This area lies between 170 35’ and
20001’ north, and 750 16’ and 78015’
east. The whole area is hilly with average altitude
of 409 and 455 m above msl. 2 major rivers, viz. Manjra
and Mnyad, flow through this area.
Soils are deep black and heavy varying from medium light
to black cotton.
Climate is generally hot throughout the year except
winter months. Mean maximum temperature ranges from
290 440 C while mean minimum temperature varies from
90 to 270 C. The average rainfall is 75 to 89 cam maximum
precipitation from mid July to end of September. Average
relative humidity ranges from 49 to 54%.
The entire area is open with very scanty vegetation
and poor grass cover. Grazing facilities as such are
scanty. Sorghum, pearl millet, pigeon pea, groundnut,
sunflower, cotton, blackgram and green pea are major
kharif crops, and rabi sorghum, wheat, Bengal gram are
major rabi crops.
Herd size is small, mainly 1 or two cows, a pair of
bullocks and some young stock. Deoni cattle are maintained
under semi-intensive system. Animals are housed mostly
in open houses. Most of the animals are given individual
care. Calves are not weaned. Male calves are nursed
better and no longer as compared to female calves. Animals
are taken to pastures during daytime. Generally animals
are maintained on grazing only. Common grasses are marvel
(Dicanthium annulatum), kuntha (Teachninusam), dongri
(Heteropogan contratus) and pawana (Sahima nurvestum).
Bullocks, bulls calves and milking cows are offered
some crop residues, viz. sorghum (kadbi), wheat straw,
gram and groundnut, and some concentrates like ground-nut-cake,
cotton seed, chickpea and millets. Males are castrated
at about 30 months of age and used for transportation
from about 3 years of age.
Body color is usually spotted black and white. This
breed has 3 strains viz. (i) complete white animals
without any spot on the body (blankya), (ii) complete
white animals with partial black face (wannera), and
(iii) black and white spotted animals (weghyd or Shevera).
Ears are grey-white, or complete white with black pinna.
Ears are dropping like in the Gir.In some animals ear
tip is slightly curved. Forehead is prominent and slightly
bulged similar to that of the Gir.Horns emerge from
the side of the poll behind and above the eyes in outward
and upward direction, slightly backward and again curving
upward. Horns tips are blunt. Eyes are prominent and
bright, with black eyebrows and black eyelashes. Hump
is massive and well developed in males but not so females.
Limbs are clean, straight and powerful. Hooves are black
and symmetrically placed. Dewlap and sheath are of medium
size. Switch of the tail is black and white reaching
below hock joint. Skin is thick, loosely attached with
body. Udder is moderately developed. Teats are black,
cylindrical with rounded tips, and are squarely placed.
Animals are docile and calm. Alminism, pendulous dewlap,
heavy sheath, loose skin, leggings, and narrow ad long-drawn
mouth with slightly roman arched face are some undesirable
AND PERFORMANCE PARAMETERS
Length, height and heart girth range from 105,150,127
to 164 and 152 to 201 cm, respectively in males, and
110 to 139, 116 to 132 and 145 to 165 cm, respectively,
in females, Birth weight averages 23.4 +/- 2.48kg (range
20 to 25kg) Adult body weight ranges from 620 to 680
kg in males and from 432 to 485 kg in females. Age at
first calving ranges from 894 to 1,540 days with and
average f 1,39 +/- 26.74 days Milk yield Deoni cows
ranges from 639 to 1,230 kg with and average of 940
kg. Lactation length ranges from 169 to 475 days with
an average for 299.0 +/- 7.83 days. Calving interval
averages 447 days. Milk contains 4.3% fat, 9.69% SNF
and 13.99% total solids. Deoni bullocks are preferred
for heavy work. A pair of Deoni bullocks can pull 10
to 11q of load using wooden heavy cart with wooden wheels
on kutcha roads and 28 to 30q using light steel cart
with type on tar roads. These can plough 594 m2 and
harrow 1,615 m2 of land per hour. Deoni bullocks reach
the maximum potential around 5 to 6 years of age and
maintain it effective up to 12 years of age.
- Deoni Cattle breeding Farm, Gudaripalli, Andhra
- Cattle Breeding Farm: Kampasagar; Zahirabad, Andhra
- Deoni Cattle Breeding Farm, Bidar, Karnataka
- University of Agricultural Sciences Dharwad, Karnataka
- Cattle Breeding Farm, Udgir, Maharashtra
- Agricultural College-cum-Dairy Farm, Parbhani,
- Marathwada Agricultural University, Parbhani, Maharashtra
- State Animal Husbandry Department, Maharashtra